Once pool season is over, it’s time to start preparing your pool for winter. Properly winterizing your pool will protect if from damage and extend the life of your liner and equipment. Closing a pool is a little more challenging than opening one. You would not be out of line getting a professional to do it for you. But if you’ve got a little time and some patience you can certainly tackle it on your own.
The first step is to give the pool a good thorough cleaning. Clear out all leaves and debris from the pool and clean the skimmer and pump basket. Do not use abrasive cleaning aids, i.e; steel wool, sharp bristled brushes, scouring pads, etc. We recommend using alkaline base cleaning agents for cleaning the area above the water line. Acid base chemicals can leave a residue which causes the vinyl to fade out.
Next you want to adjust the PH, Alkalinity, Hardness and Chlorine levels to the ideal levels. It’s a good idea to take a sample to your pool dealer and have them test it, to be certain.
Use the absolute minimum amount of chemicals that will allow the desired effect. Do not shock your pool using Trichlor (hypochlorite is safer) and circulate the pool water for 72 hours before shutting down.
Remember: The act of closing your pool is creating a closed environment. The more chemicals you use the more severe that environment will be. Do not chlorinate thinking you are doing good. Less is best when adding chemicals to your vinyl lined pool.
Never add chemicals directly to the pool. Dilute them first in a bucket of water and add them to the pool by pouring them into the skimmer while the circulation system is on.
Circulate the pool water for a full 72 hours after the final addition of chemicals is added. Even liquid chlorine can concentrate in the deep end and cause bleaching of the liner.
The chlorine level should not exceed 2.0ppm.
Never drain your pool. For most pools we recommend that you not lower the water below the skimmer. However, in northern markets it’s necessary to lower the water below the skimmer mouth. Place a gizmo or a weighted plastic milk carton in the skimmer to protect it from freeze damage. Once a pool has been filled with water, the liner begins to lose its stretching properties; therefore the pool should be kept full of water at all times. The water acts as a protector for the liner and holds the liner in its proper position, thus eliminating any re-stretching and drying out of the vinyl. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning the winterizing of the pump and filter.
Cover the Pool
Use a good fitting pool cover that is sealed around the entire perimeter to keep your pool secure. An uncovered pool accumulates debris, such as leaves and worms. The debris absorbs the chlorine in the pool, leaving a potential risk for staining or bleaching of the liner. Keeping your pool covered over the winter also keeps the liner out of the sun, which prolongs the lifespan. The best option for covering your pool is a safety cover. It provides an attractive, low maintenance barrier against the elements. Unlike water bag covers, you can walk on a safety cover if necessary. A safety cover will prevent accidents and keep your pool secure all winter.